As if Walmart did not already need to compete with Amazon on the digital front, more recently it seemed like Walmart would need to compete on the physical front as well where Amazon started to test out AI-powered grocery stores, where customers could walk in, grab what they want, and walk out without having to deal with cashiers.

Unsurprisingly, Walmart was not about to take that lying down and if you live in Levittown, New York, you might be able to check out Walmart’s answer to Amazon Go. The company has recently announced that they have opened their Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL) to the public where shoppers can try out shopping of the future.

Unlike Amazon Go whose selling point is not having to deal with cashiers and queues, Walmart’s IRL is about making lives easier for their employees by helping them restock empty shelves and deal with shopping carts, thus freeing up their employees to deal more directly with customers to enhance the shopping experience.

According to Mike Hanrahan, CEO of IRL, “We think it’s something our associates will be excited about. The technology has been built to improve associates’ jobs, to make their jobs more interesting, to help them alleviate some of the mundane tasks. AI can enhance their skillset in a very rapidly changing world.”

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